Goodbye 2014.

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I watched Wild with my husband a couple weekends ago and it has stayed with me well over a week now. I was incredibly impressed by the endurance, stamina, strength, courage and determination Cheryl Strayed displayed in an effort to regain control and meaning in her life again by walking the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) after losing her mother and divorcing her husband. Her story resonated with me, not because I found similarities in what she went thru with the people in her life – but because she used took the negative situations in her life and made them positive and took charge of her life. I envy that.

2014 was a hard year, guys. There were so many wonderful moments in it but there was a lot of shit to deal with, too. Being an adult sucks ass a lot of the time and then you toss in raising a toddler into the mix and things really start to get cuckoo bananas. I’m tired. All. The. Time. I know, I know, it’s part of the hazing all parents go thru. I get it – I understand and have accepted it. But I just wanna wallow for a minute. 2014 has seen me put my professional and personal endeavors on hold so I can just take a breath for a minute. The sacrifices made to get thru this year in one piece haven’t been made in vain, though, because I’ve learned a lot about myself, about my husband, about us as parents, and what it is we actually want from our life to feel fulfilled. Get ready folks, it’s time to read what Jessica’s learned in list form:

Being okay with the mess.
I mean this figuratively and literally. Being a parent makes me more on point in many ways because that’s naturally how I am so I am going to try that much harder to be dependable even with Vee. So, you, without the kid – you have no excuse to show up late, not shower, or complain about being tired. It’s unfair to think like this, but seriously, you have the luxury of time. Get your hot mess self together.

More literally – I have learned to become friends with dust balls. I justify the balancing act of dishes in the sink. Or, why the bathroom can go another week before a good scrub. My husband and I are constantly picking up after Vee so everything else falls lower and lower on the priority list. If you know of a good AND affordable cleaning service, send ’em my way!

Not making everyone happy.
This is a hard one because I tend to willingly overextend myself and I feel good being able to do things for other people. More and more, though, I’m realizing I can’t do that anymore. It’s okay to say, “I need help” without feeling guilty. And if I need to shut myself off from everyone so I can recharge my batteries, I’m allowed (product of being an introvert)! My husband and I are extremely reliable people. We always want to make sure our loved ones are taken care of but at this point in our lives, we need a little TLC ourselves.

Putting things on hold.
This is probably the hardest one of all to “learn.” I don’t want to put the growth of Peety Draws on hold. I don’t want to put our inevitable move to California off anymore. I don’t want my husband to sacrifice any of his passions for “the greater good.” But, we have to deal with some adult responsibilities before we take on another one and that means sacrificing just a portion of our ambition. Right now, it’s just not my time but one day it will be and you better believe I’ll be ready. In moments of spectacularly overwhelming frustration, reminding myself that it’s not my time is a calming mantra.

Being the self-reflective person that I am, I went back through my 2014 Instagram feed. And shit, man, so much GOOD did happen this year.

I turned fucking 30!
Experienced Wegman’s for the first time – I was totally missing out!
My brother got married.
Designed the wedding invites for my friend, Mads. 😀
I cooked more with our subscription to Plated.com.
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I met Tricia Witkowski from Fold Factory. :::nerd swoon:::
I went to the HOW Design Conference in Boston AND my husband joined me!
Finally got to hear one of my friend’s and co-workers play in Batala.
Printed and drew really fun Peety Draws characters.
Finally went to Charming Charlie’s – love that place!
Got a lot of free goods from design vendors and companies I admire.
Went to Crafty Bastards and had friends who had a booth! WOO!
I didn’t get accepted to Crafty Bastards but was so boosted that I finally got my act together and applied.
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Finalized a logo for myself (a year-long project that never got done).
Took Vee out a lot more and saw her insanely fun personality emerge.
My husband and I celebrated our anniversary with take-out and movies – so us. ❤
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Finally shaved the side of my head and loved it.
Saw Justin Timberlake in concert with my sis and girlfriends. So fun!
Did some make-up modeling for MOD Girl Makeup.
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Designed fun favors for Vee’s 1st birthday (which I still need to write a blog post on!).
Vee went from a fat chubs to a lean talking machine.
I got to experience Vee’s first steps, first laugh, and first word.
I saw my husband become such a wonderful, sexy and caring father.
Wrote reviews for Cinema Samurai.
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Got a lot of great books that I have yet to read but they make me so happy to look at.
My marriage became stronger and more beautiful in its sixth year.
Participated in the Goody Goody Gift Swap and made a new friend.
My sister got engaged on Christmas Eve!

Looking at this long list, I realized that even though I wanted so much more, I experienced and did a lot more than most people with the type of craziness in my life right now. My husband and I really pushed ourselves to do the things that make us happy because that helps us to deal with the bullshit. So, why the reference to Wild? Because I feel like 2014 was the start of my PCT and it will continue into 2015. The difference for the upcoming year is that I’ve now had experience, I know what it takes to power thru, and I know what my boundaries are. 2015 will be here in just a few hours and instead of wiping the slate clean, I’m taking those negatives and making them positives. Because for me, next year is going to be THE year.

Happy new year, friends! I appreciate all your support, emails and comments. Wishing you the best for this upcoming year.

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